Meet The Forward-Thinking Saudi & Arab Women at PwC Middle East in KSA
On IWD, we celebrate the strong female voices in leading corporations today.
On this International Women's Day, we zoom into the growing female talents and initiatives in Saudi Arabia. PwC is one example, the company empowers its workforce and fosters an environment that nurtures their skills and maximizes female leadership all across the board. Started by one of their leading female trailblazers, PwC Riyadh has an in-house EmTech Lab, which uses metaverse and AI tech to support local talents in their project and solution development. Without further ado, click through our article to meet the companies' exceptional female talent that hold impressive skillsets fit for a next-gen mindset.
Elaf AlSlamsn - PwC Lead 3D creative technologist & Riyadh lab senior associate
A 3D creative technologist & Riyadh lab lead senior associate at PwC, Emerging Technology Team. Elaf focuses on creating 3D modules for building prototypes and experiences that can solve industry problems and demonstrate the potential of new emerging technologies.
As a member of the PwC Emerging Technology team and as the lab leader in Saudi Riyadh, I am pleased to say that we have observed a positive transformation for women in the tech industry since the launch of Vision 2030. The landscape has shifted significantly, resulting in more women pursuing careers in the tech industry and an increased representation of women in leadership positions.
The progress in the industry has led to new and exciting opportunities for women in tech. In particular, fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity are becoming increasingly accessible to women. Further, there is an increased focus on creating support systems for women in tech, including mentorship programs, networking events, and advocacy initiatives.
At PwC, we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment that encourages women to flourish and succeed. We recognize the essential role of women in unlocking the full potential of Saudi Arabia's emerging technology sector, and we are proud to be a part of this transformative journey.
Hawazen AlHassoun - PwC Middle East Chief Operations Officer Saudi Arabia
Hawazen AlHassoun is the Chief Operations Officer at the PwC Middle East in the KSA, overseeing all Internal Firm Services for more than 2000 employees in six offices around the kingdom. Hawazen brings more than 10 years of experience in local and international companies, focused on implementing operational excellence, driving business process efficiency and strategic execution.
During her profound career, she held different roles that covered various aspects in business and operations such as Human Capital, Recruitment, Banking and investments, Compliance Operations, Business development, Leadership, Change management, Risk & Control and Project Management.
Prior to joining PwC Middle East, Hawazen led the role of Head of Operations in JPMorgan Chase Bank, Riyadh Branch, then the role of Vice President and Country Head of Operations in Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia. She is passionate about Inclusion and Diversity, digital upskilling, the future of work, wellbeing and the overall people experience. Hawazen is focused on increasing quality and helping both talents to develop and grow with an eye on the future.
Hawazen holds a Masters Degree in Business Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her overall experience and successful career, along with her remarkable skills and business acumen have led to her current leadership role.
Hala Kudwah - PwC Consulting Lead
Hala is currently a ME Partner leading the Consulting of Financial Services in Saudi Arabia. She has a broad and significant experience in the Financial Services industry covering Business Strategy & Operations, Customer Solutions, IT & Digital Strategy, Market Intelligence, Business Analytics ,Operational Risk Management, M&A (Due Diligence and Integration) and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Prior to joining PwC, Hala assumed various positions during her 29 years stint with Samba Financial Group (a top bank in Saudi Arabia), the last 12 of which has been as General Manager. She played a significant role in a number of transformational milestones.
Haneen Sakakin - PwC Digital Services Manager
Haneen is a Manager in PwC’s Digital Services team with a passion to help clients drive positive and impactful change using technology. Haneen is based in Riyadh and has 5+ years of management consulting experience in MENA. During her consulting career Haneen specialised in customer transformation, experience enhancement, process transformation, design thinking and workshop design and execution. Haneen has worked across multiple industries with her core experience covering Tourism, Education, Government, Retail and Hospitality.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Haneen specialised in International Education Policy and Primary Education. She started her career as a teacher, going on to support the UNHRC and subsequently as an education and technology consultant, advising NGOs, educators and small businesses in the field of education, 21st century experiential learning, Design Thinking, CX and process improvements.
It is great to see the number of women in the workforce and tech industry continue to grow, not only in entry level positions but also in leadership roles. Women in the region are continuing to inspire me because they are eager to help pave the way for all future generations.
Saudi Vision 2030 continues to create a more equal playing field for women in tech and is driving more inclusivity in the industry. From supporting female-led-startups to promoting engagement of women in STEM fields, women in tech have seen more opportunities for professional growth and overall opportunities for participation across the tech space.
Norma Taki - PwC Transaction Services Partner
Norma has over 23 years of experience with PwC and is a Partner in our Transaction Services Team based in Dubai.
She currently leads our Retail and Consumer markets practise across the Middle East. She has led numerous financial due diligence deals and valuation projects in the retail and consumer sector including fashion, F&B, Consumer products and others in the Middle East region for large regional families, corporates and private equity clients.
She also works with teams leading other propositions to bring industry specific solutions to a PwC client. Norma authors the annual PwC publication titled “Consumer Markets Insight Survey” covering consumer behaviour in Egypt, KSA and the UAE and more recently the pulse survey post Covid.
She also leads PwC ME’s Inclusion and Diversity proposition across the Middle East.
Lara Aljuhani PwC Technology & Digital Manager
Is a Technology & Digital Manager at PwC where she specialises in leading digital transformation programs and optimising customer experiences through a design-led approach. Lara focuses on the intersection of Experience, Technology and Business. She has worked closely with governments across the Middle East to develop and implement their strategic digital objectives and unlock the potential of emerging technologies such as Web3.0 and the Metaverse in transforming citizen experiences.
Vision 2030 is about creating change that transcends borders, time, and people.Over the past few years the kingdom continued to flourish in line with Saudi Vision 2030.The transformation journey of Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact in the pages of history.
In particular, the involvement of women in leadership positions has played a critical role in accelerating the country's transformation journey. Vision 2030 has made it abundantly clear that it is more important than ever for Saudi women to take part in shaping the future of our country and the region as a whole.
Today, Saudi women are leading in a wide range of sectors, from diplomacy and entertainment to public service, education, healthcare, and technology. The government has been a steadfast supporter, providing inclusive access to development programs, resources, and opportunities to equip our society with the tools we need to drive meaningful change.
As a Saudi woman in a prominent technology leadership role at PwC, I have been fortunate to witness the impact of the Saudi Vision 2030 on women in tech firsthand. The Vision has opened up exciting new opportunities for us to pursue fulfilling careers in the field, breaking down barriers that previously held us back.
As we work hand in hand with our clients on innovative projects, including the development and deployment of metaverse solutions, the design of cognitive cities, and the transformation of digital government services, we have observed a remarkable number of these initiatives launched under the guidance of female Saudi leaders within the government's tech teams. Witnessing these women leave their mark not only in Saudi Arabia but also globally, has been truly inspiring and has paved the way for future generations of female leaders.
The government's commitment to promoting inclusivity and equal access to education has been instrumental in paving the way for women in tech. From providing STEM scholarships to launching technology-focused development programs and government hackathons, the country has invested heavily in empowering women entrepreneurs and fostering a more diverse and inclusive tech industry.
At PwC, we share this commitment to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment in the tech industry. I am proud to be part of a generation of women who are driving innovation and progress in this critical field, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for women in tech not only in Saudi Arabia but also around the world. As we continue to work together to break down barriers and create opportunities, the possibilities are endless.